IN MEMORIAM: Joseph ‘Jay’ Lester Parsons, III

by Jane Ahrens

Long time resident of Fishers Island, Joseph ‘Jay’ Lester Parsons, III passed away peacefully in Vero Beach, FL on March 21, 2013 after a year long battle with cancer. Jay was a New Jersey native who was born in Orange, NJ on Feb. 9, 1940. Jay is survived by his wife, Nancy Hunt Parsons, his daughter, Emily Frances Parsons, and his sons, Joseph ‘Josh’ Lester Parsons, IV, James Sahler Parsons, and Dr. Charles ‘Chas’ Stattler Parsons, as well as his step-daughter, Tanis Hunt Meakin and step-son Robert Edmonds Hunt, seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and eight nieces and nephews. He is survived by his sister, Lucille Alonzo and step-sister, Margot Meyer. Jay was preceded in death by his wife, Estella Day Parsons.

Jay was a graduate of The Choate School, ’57; Princeton University, ’61; and Harvard Law School, ’64. He also received a Masters in Tax Law from NYU and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He began his career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, specializing in tax law, then worked for the maritime law firm of Burke and Parsons, 50 Wall Street, NY, NY. Jay opened his own private practice in Bernardsville in 1976. Jay served as a member of the Bernardsville Borough Council and subsequently was elected as Mayor of Bernardsville in 2002.

He will long be remembered for his dedicated leadership and intelligently applied service, not only to the residents of Bernardsville, but also to many non-profit, civic and educational organizations including the Choate School, the Princeton Class of ’61, the VNA of Somerset Hills, St. Bernard’s Church, the Bernardsville Library, the Hay Harbor Club, the Fishers Island Civic Association, as well as many others. Intelligence and integrity, combined with a strong work ethic were Jay’s hallmarks, and they were always offered generously and with great humility. He was an accomplished private pilot, sailor and bridge player.

In compliance with his wishes that there not be a formal service, the family plans to gather for a private service of remembrance during the summer. For others, who may wish to remember Jay, the family suggests that gifts be made to the VNA Hospice House of Vero Beach, FL in his name.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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